I spend a great weekend at the Indian School of Business in Hyderabad thanks to my pal from my GW-Basic days, Umang Kumar.

He made sure all the arrangements were first class … (including calling me 50 times to book the damn tickets … hey I did it already!) and politely asking for ordering an extra mattress through the ISB dorm 5-star accomodation system and making sure he and his friends take time out of their critical final weeks … busy with major grey-cell-whipping-assignments … and last-minute reviews of each others resume’s … and last-minute discussions on placement styles … and some funny acronyms like EOI and ROI (wait, that second one sounds familiar ;-) ) … and analysing more case-studies than i’d like to count.

What did I learn from it all?

(i) Those damn smart-asses cracking the GMATs aren’t all books and laptops. Their real-life personal and professional experiences got me thinking of the potential India has and the change in opportunities available within our borders. Importantly … the fact that no one … NOT A SINGLE ONE seemed interested in leaving Indian shores … struck me as the best thing I’ve heard/seen in a long time. These ISB students are definitely amongst the smartest ones India produces … and they were all for giving it back to India without the need for any cards … green or otherwise.


(ii) Group study and picking each-others brains over a conference table at 2am is still the best way to study, and more importantly, learn.

(iii) 6.x lakhs per annum is chump change and not even worthy of the i-took-this-job-in-desperation title.

These guys know how smart they are, what kind of changes they can bring to their potential employeers and how they can help grow companies. And they are willing to use this knowledge to their advantage on the negotation-table.

(iiii) When an entrepreneur, like me, shows up … and introduces himself … the most common question thrown at him is … “Hey, cool … so you can offer me a job”

I know they were half-kidding … but yes … thats what I replied … “I would love to offer you a job. Just don’t expect a salary offer clubbed with it” atleast not till I make my companies stronger and stabler.

My take on this … “go ahead and work at the McKinsey’s and IBM’s of the world … when you are bored of that in a few years … please do come back … then I’ll offer the job and a salary too”

Best of luck with the final days … Umang, Nyka, Viraj, Aditi, Ankur, Gitanjali, Elaine, Shipra, et al. (Yeah, I know I haven’t mentioned everyone’s names … it’s not a roll-call u know!)

MBA Program